3. What is the Internet?
The Internet is a huge worldwide network of computers connected to each other.
There is a lot of technology behind the Internet. But all you really need to know is that these computers are connected and can talk to each other.
There is no home of the Internet or a master computer. Just lots of computers all over the world with lots of information all hooked together. If you have access to the Internet, you can read, hear, view and interact all this information from your own computer.
This works, because computer people have developed a complex programming language called HTML. Fortunately you don't need to know it because your computer translates it for you.
Suffice to say it is being used to create pages with information which everyone can easily read on their own computer - so called web pages. Many pages together from the same person or organisation form a web site: just like many pages make up a book. This is why the Internet is sometimes called the world's largest library.
But unlike books in a normal library web sites can include text, sound, images, video and - shops.
Almost anywhere in the world people can get access to these web sites by linking their computer to the Internet via a telephone line and a special computer device called a modem. And although it is a little bit more tricky, people can also make their information available via the Internet - even shops - so that anyone else can get access to it. I'll show you how to do both, soon.
More and more people use the Internet to communicate with each other every day, to get information and entertainment - even to go shopping.
And according to research, millions of people prefer using the Internet to watching TV.
For example according to some research one third of all Internet users in the USA with access at home would rather give up their TV than their Internet (Arbitron/Edison Media Research ).
You couldn't demonstrate any clearer how important the Internet has become.